Fashion Rebels with a Potent Cause

Maitele Wawe Fashion Rebels February 2016

Pretoria has long been known for having its own particular style, but it was always autonomous.  One might be forgiven for thinking that the scene, particularly when it comes to fashion, exists mainly in Johannesburg.  Even Pretoria-based fashionistas have found this to be true, but this is exactly what Maitele Wawe and his crew of Fashion Rebels are out to change.

Previously, the fashion scene existed largely in Johannesburg, which meant Wawe and his crew had to travel from Pretoria just to have access to gigs and creative sessions.  However, the Fashion Rebels comprises of three very unique personalities, like-minded in their creative spirit, that believe they have the vision and the ability to change all of this.  And, as it turns out, they do.

Who are the Fashion Rebels?

Maitele Wawe founded the group in 2012 with his partner and friend, Thifhelimbilu Mudau.  After the group’s inception it was joined by Sizophila Dlezi, making it a trio.  The group prides itself on its ability to think unanimously on an internal basis, and completely inimitably on an external basis.  While the three members of the Fashion Rebels may have similar tastes and styles, their creativity is different from anything else being done in the fashion world.

Based on this creative ability, the trio decided to attempt to not only bring the world of fashion from Johannesburg to Pretoria, but to create a completely unique scene in Pretoria.  And, eight months into the project, it appears to be working incredibly well.

The Fashion Rebels used their style and credibility to create the Social Market – a social event encompassing fashion, art, music, and food.  On the first Sunday of each month, the Social Market dazzles attendees with its melting pot of cultural brilliance.  It has garnered so much momentum that it has not only become an alternative to the Johannesburg scene, but it has begun to attract fashionistas from outside of Pretoria.

What the Fashion Rebels Hope to Achieve with the Social Market

The Social Market might have something to do with wanting to create a scene as opposed to travelling to another one, but it goes deeper than this.  The Fashion Rebels hope to be an inspiration to young South Africans struggling with identity.

Wawe says that so many young South Africans lack direction when it comes to style and fashion.  They are simply hunting for someone to emulate.  Wawe hopes the Social Market will inspire young people to discover fashion within themselves, instead of simply following others.

While the term ‘fashion’ might refer to a broad style applicable to a large group of people, it has become more.  Fashion, according to Wawe, is now a tool for the expression of individuality; something we can all use to distinguish ourselves as unique characters in the crush of society.

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